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Old 01-13-2009, 02:46 PM   #11
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It does depend on the recipe. I make a practice of NO SALT. If I am making meatballs with grated cheese (salty)...definitely NO SALT.

It is best to acquire a low salt taste. Better for health. And if you are making a Tomato Sauce and adding meatballs....NO SALT. Tomatoes have salt. NO SALT....or just a sprinkle is my way.
I whole-heartedly agree!! Too many people think salt is necessary in cooking or that its only purpose in cooking is flavor which is just not true. I get so much more flavor from using other seasons, and prefer not to use any salt or at the most will use about half to a quarter of what most recipes call for. I have learned over the years that, IMHO, most recipes call for way too much salt in them. If I need to meld things, a dab of sugar works much better than salt. Or use the two in combination and get the same result as just using salt but hey less sodium!
Don't forget most of the salt in our food was not for flavoring but as a preservative originally. We have long since discovered many other much better ways to season and flavor food, but that doesn't mean I advocate omitting it all together just cut way way back on it.
You gotta put salt in its place, in the background, and as stated better for your health in the long run as well!
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:18 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Aria View Post
It does depend on the recipe. I make a practice of NO SALT. If I am making meatballs with grated cheese (salty)...definitely NO SALT.

It is best to acquire a low salt taste. Better for health. And if you are making a Tomato Sauce and adding meatballs....NO SALT. Tomatoes have salt. NO SALT....or just a sprinkle is my way.
I agree. I find that if I am using grated parm cheese, bread crumbs, garlic, and fresh parsley in my meatballs, I really don't need to add any salt.
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Old 01-13-2009, 04:59 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Maverick2272 View Post
Too many people think salt is necessary in cooking or that its only purpose in cooking is flavor which is just not true.
Salt is necessary to enhance flavor. It's true that its only purpose in cooking is to enhance flavor, as no recipe uses salt as a preservative or for any other reason than to improve flavor (outside of baking, likeDQueen points out).

Unlike other things (pepper/garlic/lemon, etc) salt itself has no flavor. It's simply a natural flavor enhancer which brings out the flavor in other foods.

The first lesson most people learn in culinary school is how salt improves flavor. It just does. We had 10 containers of chicken broth set before us ranging from completely unsalted to grossly oversalted. Tasting them one by one, it was easy to appreciate howsalt made the broth taste deeper and meatier. Our job was to develop our palates further so that we could tell how much salt was enough and when it was too much. And too much salt can ruin flavor. That's a fact, too.

Tom Collichio has an interesting discussion of this in his book "Think Like a Chef."

Another important lesson is to salt your food as you cook, building layers of flavor, rather than adding it it at the end.

That said, people obviously should watch their sodium intake and not consume too much. People with sodium sensitivities should follow their doctor's recommendations. Otherwise, how much salt to add to food is a personal decision.
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:03 PM   #14
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NO SALT. NO SALT. NO SALT. NO SALT
Ok, no salt
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:22 PM   #15
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it depends on the meatballs.

for italian style, i've never added salt. there's enough supplied by the cheese and breadcrumbs.

for scandinavian, i'm with ub and add a tsp per pound, then taste to adjust.
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
It's true that its only purpose in cooking is to enhance flavor, as no recipe uses salt as a preservative or for any other reason than to improve flavor (outside of baking, likeDQueen points out).
I am not sure I agree with this. What about preserved lemons? Also, what about using salt to draw moisture out of something. What about a brine. True part of the reason to brine something is to enhance flavor, but another reason is to introduce moisture.
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Old 01-13-2009, 07:08 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Salt is necessary to enhance flavor. It's true that its only purpose in cooking is to enhance flavor, as no recipe uses salt as a preservative or for any other reason than to improve flavor (outside of baking, likeDQueen points out).

Unlike other things (pepper/garlic/lemon, etc) salt itself has no flavor. It's simply a natural flavor enhancer which brings out the flavor in other foods.

The first lesson most people learn in culinary school is how salt improves flavor. It just does. We had 10 containers of chicken broth set before us ranging from completely unsalted to grossly oversalted. Tasting them one by one, it was easy to appreciate howsalt made the broth taste deeper and meatier. Our job was to develop our palates further so that we could tell how much salt was enough and when it was too much. And too much salt can ruin flavor. That's a fact, too.

Tom Collichio has an interesting discussion of this in his book "Think Like a Chef."

Another important lesson is to salt your food as you cook, building layers of flavor, rather than adding it it at the end.

That said, people obviously should watch their sodium intake and not consume too much. People with sodium sensitivities should follow their doctor's recommendations. Otherwise, how much salt to add to food is a personal decision.
If you look up the history of salt, you will see it was first used as a preservative then as a seasoning for flavor (at least that is what I found). Best example salted pork used on British sailing ships, or brines.
I get plenty of flavor in my food and often do not use any salt at all. No one seems to notice or object....
Of course, I recognize this does not work with all foods, there are some that I have found if I withhold the salt it is not right. But then I add back in about half of what they call for and it works out fine. I think overuse of salt in recipes can be an issue especially with sodium intake.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:14 PM   #18
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If you don't feel like frying a sample, just cook a tiny amount in the microwave. Not much, just testing for seasonings.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:44 PM   #19
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undesalting is always safer... salt can be added at the table but you cant do anything about it if its already in there.

I tend to use very little salt because it is my preference. If people feel the need to add salt fine
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:24 AM   #20
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seasonings. And I always have to adjust something. Either salt or cheese or herbs. It's always something. I think it is because I don't make them often enough to become expert at it.
YES! You have to season "early and often" but always taste a small fried patty before rolling, and keep in mind that if you are cooking in plain tomato sauce or water, you will loose some of the salt.
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